In the past five years, more than a dozen new imprints devoted to publishing novels for young adults have opened shop. Some are casting a wide net, with books that span a variety of genres; others are trying to carve a space for themselves in a very specific niche. We asked each publisher to tell us about their focus, and let them brag about the book that’s had the most success to date.
Akashic/Black Sheep Books
Launched: 2014 | Titles per year: 2–4
Focus: Well-written stories with engaging, realistic, and diverse characters that young adults (and adults!) can relate to.
Brag books: Two of their first three releases, Changers Book One: Drew by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper, and Game World by C.J. Farley, have nearly sold through their first printings.
Launched: 2013 | Titles per year: 40–50
Focus: Engaging stories for teens and adult crossover readers from diverse genres including contemporary, fantasy, and romance.
Brag book: Susan Ee’s Penryn & the End of Days series (Angelfall; World After) has generated more than 3,000 Amazon customer reviews.
Launched: 2014 | Titles per year: 10–12
Focus: A wide variety of genres and formats: graphic novels, westerns, romance, illustrated memoir, historical fiction, realistic fiction, science fiction and nonfiction, including how-to. The imprint name was chosen to evoke the ever-changing interests of YA readers, as well as the notion of introducing teens to new ideas.
Brag book: Lois Lane: Fallout (May 2015) by Gwenda Bond, a novel that imagines Superman’s romantic interest during her high school days as a teenage sleuth, is generating strong pre-publication buzz.
Launched: 2010 | Titles per year: 8–12
Focus: Distinctive, provocative, boundary-pushing fiction for teens and their sympathizers.
Brag book: No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, won the 2012 Boston Globe Honor Book Award for fiction and was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
Launched: 2014 | Titles per year: 3–4
Focus: Dark, literary genre fiction, that includes science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and horror; stories that don’t necessarily have a happy ending.
Brag book: The Toronto-based imprint’s first release, The Door in the Mountain by Caitlin Sweet, will publish in the U.S. in November.
Launched: 2012 | Titles per year: 12–14
Focus: A millennial vision of classic YA novels: deeply emotional stories about ordinary kids caught in extraordinary circumstances, coming of age in a complex contemporary world.
Brag book: The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab generated buzz from teen readers and was named a YALSA Quick Pick.
Launched: 2009 | Titles per year: 35–45 (includes originals, reprints and digital-first titles)
Focus: Commercial YA fiction across all genres.
Brag book: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, an international bestseller, has been sold into 21 countries.
Ig Publishing/Lizzie Skurnick Books
Launched: 2013 | Titles per year: 12–14
Focus: Reissues of YA classics from decades past, and new works by the authors of popular 1970s and 1980s novels.
Brag book: The November publication of the imprint’s first original release, Isabel’s War, launches a trilogy by the late Lila Perl, author of Fat Glenda (1979).
Launched: 2012 | Titles per year: 26–32
Focus: “Speculative fiction where nothing is as it seems.”
Brag book: The N.C.-based imprint’s bestselling title to date is Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki.
Poisoned Pen Press/Poisoned Pencil
Launched: 2014 | Titles per year: 4–6
Focus: Edgy mysteries and complex stories that capture “the vibrant teen cocktail of superior wisdom, immediate need, and sometimes hidden honesty,” according to editor Ellen Larson.
Brag book: Jesus Jackson by James Ryan Daley (Nov. 2014) received a starred review from Kirkus.
Launched: 2012 | Titles per year: 10–12
Focus: Compelling mysteries and thrillers for teens.
Brag book: Multiple starred reviews and national media review attention for their lead spring 2014 title, The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin.
Launched: 2010 | Titles per year: 25
Focus: Innovative storytelling in all genres, written in authentic teen voices.
Brag books: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally, now in its eighth printing.
Triangle Square Editions/Seven Stories Press
Launched: 2012 | Titles per year: 5–7
Focus: Works of the imagination that combine social justice and good storytelling. Tagline: “Telling personal stories of courage and commitment.”
Brag book: Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States is the imprint’s “crown jewel.” It’s not just Triangle Square’s top-selling title, but the top-selling title for the whole company.
Young Europe Books
Launched: 2014 | Titles per year: 2–4
Focus: Books that show the formerly communist Eastern Bloc nations as the setting for beautiful and exciting books organically rooted in a region inspired by a rich cultural history.
Brag book: Petra K and the Blackhearts by M. Henderson Ellis, first of a planned trilogy set in a city like Prague, where dragons have been outlawed by a child dictator.
Launched: 2013 | Titles per year: 6
Focus: Storytelling that inspires, enriches, and uplifts teen readers. Tagline: “Your next read can be a Blink away.”
Brag book: Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover has gotten strong reviews, including a star from Kirkus.